Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian called out the management of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) on Thursday over problems with the implementation of cashless toll collection via RFID.
Gatchalian, in a series of tweets, said non-responsive RFID sensors have caused traffic buildup in the thoroughfare. The NLEX cuts through Valenzuela and among the last cities on the highway before it ends at the Balintawak Toll Plaza.
Gatchalian got retweets and replies from motorists who have endured hours-long queues for RFID stickers that are required for the full cashless tollways beginning Dec. 1.
"The riding public of Valenzuela deserves better! Prepaid na nga ayaw pa niyo padaanin mga vehicles dahil none responsive mga RFID sensors niyo," he said.
Gatchalian claimed that NLEX chief operating officer dismissed his concern, saying "wala naman problema" and that he was the only one complaining.
"Hindi niyo kasi inaayos when you had the chance these past years now malaki na ang problema as everybody is moving to cashless. Obviously, the 1st step in fixing this problem is to admit there is a problem," the mayor said.
The NLEX management has yet to release a statement on Gatchalian's concerns however it did remind motorists through its Twitter account on Thursday to ensure that their RFID accounts have enough load before traveling.
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"Paalala po sa ating mga RFID subscriber, siguraduhing may sapat na load ang inyong account bago bumiyahe. Magkakaiba po ang crediting time ng ating mga reloading channel kaya't mas makabubuting mag-reload in advance," it said.
The mandatory implementation of cashless toll collection via RFID started in Dec. 1 as authorities aimed to reduce contact between motorists and toll clerks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.